When I am feeling down and need a bit of cheering up I log onto Mad News and it never fails to make me laugh. Founded in 2008 by former freelance journo, Janice Spence, this witty blog gives us the skinny on the Black entertainment scene. While some entertainment websites just publish breaking stories as they see them, Mad News goes the extra mile by taking an observational slant that inspires debate. She must be doing something right because after five months of its inception, Mad News was number 258 on the Black blogger ranking list. A prolific character on twitter, when she is not finding stories for Mad News Janice works in the healthcare communications industry. All this makes Janice one busy lady so I was delighted when she took time out to fill me in Mad News and other ventures.
What made you start blogging?
Necole Bitchie, Concrete Loop and Bossip are the blogs that inspired me the most to first start blogging back in 2006. I loved what they were doing. So one day I logged into my MySpace account (which I set up in 2004 but totally ignored up until this point) and decided to turn the blog feature into a news source. I began posting entertainment news stories on a daily basis and to my surprise managed to build up a huge following. Then in 2008 I decided it was time to set up a blog site as a separate entity away from MySpace, and Mad News was born.
Describe the concept behind Mad News.
The concept behind Mad News is more than just about providing visitors with the latest in entertainment news, music news and gossip. It’s to also give those who don’t know much about events happening outside their own waters, an insight in to what’s happening socially, culturally, politically in the UK and worldwide.
How do you think bloggers have made an impact on the media?
Bloggers have impacted the media immensely, to the point where prominent news organisations now look to them for scoops, particularly from within the world of entertainment. Blogs offer minute by minute news updates/coverage and are usually the first to receive major scoops. The print media seem to be relying more and more on the blogs to provide leads and news stories. I always pick up The London Paper on my way home from work in the evenings and it’s obvious that the editorial staff spend part of the day scanning the blogs for news and the latest photographs of celebs. Bossip and TMZ are clearly favourites (lol). Also such is the impact that there’s a real fear the print media could soon become obsolete.
What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
I hold down a 9-5 job, read trashy novels, watch TV and wonder why British television has just become a sea of tired “reality” shows. I also socialize with friends.
Describe a typical day in the life of Janice Spence.
A typical day involves fulfilling my 9-5 editorial duties by assisting a team of medical writers, researching and collecting medical material online and at the library, and when I get home I search for material for Mad News and update it then.
You always seem to be on top of the entertainment news, where do you source your stories from?
The London Paper, The Metro, The London Lite, The Mirror, BBC News. The Guardian, The Times Online, The Daily Mail, DigitalSpy.com, Rhymeswithsnitch.blogspot.com, Gyantunplugged.com and the new love of my life Twitter.
What are your favourite glossy magazines?
I haven’t purchased a glossy magazine in over a year. But I used to always pick up the Queen of gloss mags OK Magazine, and I know that this may not necessarily be considered a ‘glossy’, but Closer magazine for the sheer comedy value.
Name five blogs that you read religiously
Rhymes With Snitch, The Gossip Jacker, Gyant Unplugged, The Musings of Ondo Lady, and The Cocoa Diaries.
How do you see Mad News evolving over the next two years?
I would like to see Mad News evolve in to becoming the UK’s answer to TMZ, which has steadily become the number 1 news source on the Internet and has now branched off in to television. I would like for Mad News to achieve that level of success and recognition, BUT Mad News will be less intrusive, less intent on destroying pretentious celebrity’s life (but who sort of deserves it) lol and more responsible with regards to content. I don’t want to spend my days worrying and losing hair over lawsuits.